Film Review: Justice League

XO Rating

10 Plot
9 Acting
10 Cinematography
10 Experience

Director: Zack Snyder

Writers: Chris Terrio & Joss Whedon

Stars: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa

Following the death of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are forced to recruit several meta-humans to restore order and prepare for a threat unlike any other they have faced before. In a world without Superman, any threat to humanity is especially dangerous. In these dark times, no one being can save the planet, it takes a team to pull together and eradicate the threats to human life, these saviors of the planet form an elite squad known as the Justice League.

Justice League is the latest addition to the DC Universe’s library. The film begins where Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, ends. Unless you’ve been under a rock you should know that Superman “died” in the last film. Killed while saving the planet, from a super beast created by Lex Luthor, his death opens a Pandora’s box of evil from which this movie’s villain was spawned. Fulfilling the prophetic and creepy prophesy uttered by Lex from his prison cell, Steppenwolf and his army of minions hope to take over the planet now that humanity’s champion is dead and buried.

Batman Vs Superman nearly killed this franchise. Its slow pace and brooding darkness made for a lackluster film. This was especially offensive as the film was supposed to introduce us to, new Batman, Ben Affleck, and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Admittedly, we were ready to blame the bat but Affleck is actually one of the best incarnations of the Dark Knight to date. Despite Affleck’s surprising likability as the bat, there was something missing from the film that we may have found in Justice League. Though Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio maintained their original positions as director and screenwriter respectively, the addition of Joss Whedon to the creative team has injected a sense of humor and playfulness we didn’t know we needed. There is no denying that Whedon’s presence has changed this franchise for the better.  Whedon is no stranger to the superhero genre and has blessed DC with a little of that Marvel Magic left over from his work on the Avengers.

In addition to the behind the scenes changes, the introduction of Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg inject some humor and light into the often dark and dreary DC universe. Mamoa’s reimagined Aquaman is a far cry from the Aquaman of old. The orange and green onesie has been replaced by tattoed scales and a golden suit of armor. Also, this Aquaman doesn’t need water to kick ass. His tough exterior and sarcastic wit play off of Batman’s seriousness very well and the two throw playful barbs at each other throughout the film. Aquaman makes fun of the bat suit and Batman keeps asking if he talks to fish.  Newcomers Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher lend their talents to Flash and Cyborg. Fisher’s Cyborg is at first moody and withdrawn but eventually warms up to the idea of being a hero, eventually letting a trademark Booyah escape his lips. Miller’s Flash is the youngest of the team and it shows. In most scenes, he can hardly keep his composure or believe his luck at being tapped to join the squad. Most of the Flash’s movements in battle are slowed down and you can clearly see his wide eyes and grin. In essence, he is the most realistic of the characters, upon seeing Steppenwolf he was ready to quit the league. His vulnerability also gave us a glimpse of Batman’s softer side as he tells the terrified Flash to just save one hostage and leave. That “one save” lead to several and just like that, a hero was born. Gal Gadot reprises her role as Wonder Woman and owns every scene she appears in. She’s never a damsel in distress and gives as much as she gets.

Die-hard DC Fans rejoice! Justice League is the epic film you were promised. After two years of speculation and an unrelenting onslaught of trailers and teasers, the film is finally here and it is glorious. Action packed, riveting, and humorous it hits all the notes Batman vs Superman missed. This summer Wonder Woman paved the way and Justice League rolls on full speed ahead giving us all a glimpse of what could be. Though the franchise has a long way to go before it catches up with Marvel, DC has finally become a worthy adversary. In our opinion, Justice League is the jolt of energy DC needed. Wonder Woman gave DC the momentum to get things rolling and Justice League gives us hope for a better tomorrow.

Justice League hits theaters this Friday! Booyah!